The Genie is already out of the bottle, GOP
As a communications person who has often counseled clients to "deprive the story of oxygen" in the face of difficult situations where clarifying or responding will only cause a negative story to flare out of control, I immediately recognized Senator McCain's attempt to use this strategy to get ahead of the Sarah Palin book tour and media blitz this week. He asked his former campaign aides -- who apparently are skewered in the book -- to stand down and not comment or respond to the allegations. Unfortunately, though, the same machine that built former Governor Palin into a political force is not able to contain her now with this tactic. It's a completely different context, of course, but it reminds me of the line Glenn Close utters in the movie "Fatal Attraction" -- "I'm not going to be ignored, Dan." Clearly Ms. Palin is not going to be ignored and is going to say her piece as widely and loudly as she can.
As an Independent who swings Democratic and supported the other candidate in the election, I'm amused by how this is backfiring on the GOP. I'm also somewhat relieved that the pundits believe the notoriety that the book will engender is not expected to turn into campaign-ready capital for the next election.
It probably would have been a better communications strategy to try to neutralize the scorned VP candidate by acknowledging her reported issues and mistakes that may have been made during the campaign. This would have lessened the she said/he said coverage that is starting to build and will only make her book tour more successful and give her a longer lived soapbox to decry her treatment at the hands of McCain's staff. When you have lionized someone who bills herself as a "rogue" and you alienate said rogue, you can't shut the rogue by ignoring her. Instead you play right into her hands by responding to her -- and into the hands of her book publicist. Perhaps the best approach would have been the line Al Pacino delivered in another movie, "The Godfather Part II" -- "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."